Frequently Asked Questions

What size unit do I need?

The size of the air conditioner is dependent not only on the size of the area your trying to condition, but also the amount of glass and the heat load generated by the number of people or equipment occupying the area.

Other factors that also determine the heat load are electrical equipment, the aspect of the room, the type of materials the building has been constructed from, the roof type and if the walls, ceilings and floors have been insulated.

It is important to have the air conditioning system you require sized correctly, so at Total Climate Control we recommend a site visit from one of our friendly design engineers to tailor a cooling and heating solution that works for you.

What is an Inverter?

To put it into simple terms an inverter system uses a variable speed compressor that speeds up to give more heating or cooling when required then slows down when less heating or cooling is required. By using Inverter technology air conditioning systems today are generally 30%-40% more energy efficient as they eliminate start and stop times which in turn reduces energy costs. Along with great energy savings Inverter air conditioners are much quieter than their counterparts.

Please find below a more elaborate explanation of inverter Air Conditioners for the technically minded:

An inverter in an air conditioner is used to control the speed of the compressor motor to allow continuously regulated temperature. Traditional air conditioners regulate temperature by using a compressor that is periodically either working at maximum capacity or switched off entirely. Inverter-equipped air conditioners have a variable-frequency drive that incorporates an adjustable electrical inverter to control the speed of the motor and thus the compressor and cooling output.

A comparison of temperature regulation between a traditional air conditioner and an inverter air conditioner:

The variable-frequency drive uses a rectifier to convert the incoming alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) and then uses pulse-width modulation in an electrical inverter to produce AC of a desired frequency. The variable freqeuncy AC drives a brushless motor or an induction motor. As the speed of an induction motor is proportional to the frequency of the AC, the compressors runs at different speeds. A microcontroller can then sample the current ambient air temperature and adjust the speed of the compressor appropriately. The additional electronics add to cost of equipment and operation. Conversion from AC to DC, and then back to AC, can cost as much 4 – 6% in energy losses for each conversion step.

Eliminating stop-start cycles increases efficiency, extends the life of components, and helps eliminate sharp fluctuations in the load the air conditioner places on the power supply. Ultimately this makes inverter air conditioners less prone to breakdowns, cheaper to run, and the outdoor compressor is generally quieter than a standard air conditioning unit’s compressor.

While at the beginning of the 1990s inverter air conditioners had some drawbacks, these have been mostly overcome – the conversion losses are lower and filters suppress most of the electromagnetic interference generated in inverters. Running at full load, compressors deliver their best efficiency and outperform inverters. Inverter-based air conditioners have their strengths in environments where a partial load is common, as they are significantly more efficient than conventional air conditioners in those situations. For conventional households where each indoor unit is connected to a single dedicated outdoor unit, inverters are the preferred option, as partial loading is the common mode there.The higher initial expense is balanced by lower energy bills. In a typical setting the pay-back time is about two years (depending upon the usage).For more modern installations where an outdoor unit is connected to multiple indoor units there are better options also available.

How much will an Air Conditioner cost to run?

A common question I get asked is “How much will this cost to run”. This question has many variables such as what temperature the system is set to, or more commonly known as the set point, hours of use, indoor/outdoor temperature and the cost of electricity itself. Here is the basic formula and below are some examples to be used as a guide only- Kilowatt hours are calculated by taking the input kilowatt of the appliance in question and multiplying it by how many hours it operates, then multiple by the electricity tariff. So, for example a Daikin RXS25KVMA/FTXS25KVMA has a power input on cooling of 0.58kw and  for example the unit will operate for 4 hours a day and the cost of electricity is 0.22c per hour (check this with local energy provider).

0.58kw x 4hrs = 2.32 | 2.32 x 0.22 = $0.51 for the 4 hours of use.

Most electricity bills come in quarterly, so using the example above where the unit is used 4 hours every day for 3 months at its rated operating range.

0.58kw x 4hrs x 90days = 208.8 | 208.8 x 0.22 = $45.94 approx over 3 months.

Also take into consideration the power input is at rated but the advantage of the Daikin inverter is that the power input can be much lower as the load decreases.

This however is just a guide as the power input is variable, cost of electricity varies depending time of use and the hours of operation will also vary.

To give another example if you were to use a hair dryer which has an input of 2000w and output is the same, if you operated the hair dryer the same as the A/C unit it would be:

2kw x 4hrs x 90days = 720 | 720 x 0.22 = $158.40 approx over 3 months (obviously a hair dryer would not operate as much as an air conditioner but it puts the running costs into perspective).

What do Energy Ratings or Star Ratings mean?

Star Ratings are a simple method for identifying the energy efficiency of a given air conditioning unit. The more stars the more efficient the air conditioning system is.

Star Ratings were introduced to air conditioners some years ago now to help consumers easily identify the energy rating. Star ratings are compulsory and are given for all air conditioning systems sold in Australia.

What is COP and EER?

COP stands for Coefficient Of Performance and EER stands for Energy Efficiency Rating. Both of these numbers indicate how energy efficient the air conditioner is. COP refers to the efficiency of the system in heating mode and EER relates to efficiency in cooling mode.

With both ratings, the higher the number for a given size unit, the higher the energy efficiency. The higher the energy efficiency for a given rating the lower the running costs.

What is a Split System?

A split system describes any air conditioning system where the outside condensing unit and the indoor fan coil unit are separated. It is commonly used to describe a highwall room air conditioner, where the indoor fancoil unit is mounted on the internal wall of the room and the outdoor condensing unit is mounted outside.

What is a Multi Split System?

A Multi split system air conditioner in most domestic applications consists of a single outdoor condenser which powers up to 4 indoor  wall mounted or floor mounted indoor fan coil units.

These systems are extremely versatile and in some applications the indoor units can be a mixture of wall mounted, floor console, ducted or cassette units to suite any application. The end result is a ductless system ideal for architecturally designed homes with large open living areas, town houses, villas or apartments where ducting is not possible.

How can I reduce my running costs?

The following tips will ensure your  air conditioner is both comfortable and economical all year round:

Heating in Winter

  1. Turn the temperature on the thermostat of your reverse cycle air conditioner to 22°C.
  2. Every 1° increase in temperature can increase the heating component of your energy bill by up to 15%.
  3. Install ceiling insulation. Close curtains/blinds to minimise heat loss.
  4. Seal cracks and holes that cause drafts.
  5. Drafts can increase winter heat loss by up to 25%.
  6. Heat only the areas of the house you are using.
  7. Adjust the louvres on split system air conditioners so they dispense the air downwards on heating.

 

Cooling in Summer

  1. Set the thermostat of your air conditioner to 22°C or higher. Each degree lower can add 10% to the cost of running an air conditioner.
  2. Close windows and blinds during the hot parts of the day to keep the heat out.
  3. Install ceiling insulation.
  4. During hot weather, turn your air conditioner on early rather than working it harder once your home warms up.
  5. Adjust the louvres on split system air conditioners so they disperse air upwards when cooling.
  6. Clean the air filter regularly.
  7. Check the energy star labels on your air conditioner – the more stars, the more energy efficient.

How often should I clean the filter?

A general indication is when the filter light flashes. But depending on the environment or the air purity, in a normal domestic application four times a year is recommended. In a commercial application we recommend the air filter be cleaned once every month.

How often should I have my air conditioner serviced?

All air conditioning systems require regular service or maintenance to ensure against untimely or expensive repair costs. Regular service and maintenance has many benefits and prolongs the life expectancy of your system. It will also help maintain the systems efficiency, reliability and heating and cooling performance.

We suggest for domestic applications the systems be serviced twice a year with commercial systems requiring more periodic servicing depending on the application.

Total Climate Control can tailor service and maintenance programs to suit any application.

How does Air Purification work?

The Only Split System Air Conditioners
When the National Asthma Council Australia introduced its new Sensitive Choice program to help identify products that are better suited for people who suffer from asthma and allergies, they chose Daikin as the only split system air conditioner authorised to display the Sensitive Choice butterfly symbol.

Advanced Filters

Daikin Split System air conditioners have advanced air-purifying filters that may help to reduce some of the triggers that affect asthma and allergy sufferers and help to provide a cleaner and healthier indoor environment.

Double Action

All Daikin Split Systems have been fitted with an air-purifying filter. Most of these split systems are fitted with a more advanced Titanium Apatite Photocatalytic Air-Purifying filter. These filters not only trap microscopic airborne particles, but also decompose odours and adsorb and deactivate bacteria and viruses. There are also mould-proof filters and a mould-proof operation that helps prevent the generation of mould and mould odours inside the unit.

Doubly Sure

To be sure you get the right advice and the split system that’s right for your home, call us on 02 9907 6155. This ensures professional installation, all backed up by Daikin’s 5-year warranty.

When will R22 Refrigerant be phased out and why?

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is widely regarded as the world’s most successful environment protection agreement. It is the only treaty with universal ratification, with all 197 member countries of the United Nations having accepted legally-binding obligations to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. The Protocol sets out a mandatory timetable for the phase out of ozone-depleting substances including almost all imports to Australia of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), such as R22 by 2016.

As one of the early countries to ratify the Montreal Protocol (1989), Australia continues to be a leader in the phase out of ozone-depleting substances. Australia’s approach has been based on a cooperative partnership between industry, community and all levels of government.

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 is the foundation of Australia’s commitment to meeting its obligations under the Protocol.

Australia continues to take an active role in ongoing Protocol negotiations, ensuring that further actions to protect the ozone layer are scientifically based and technically feasible, and that developing countries are supported in their efforts to phase out ozone depleting substances.

Phase out of HCFCs

Since ratifying the Protocol, Australia has met or exceeded all of its phase out obligations. For example, Australia will largely phase out the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) by 2016, four years ahead of the schedule required under the Protocol.

This accelerated approach was determined by a government and industry initiative agreed in the early 1990s, with the phase out schedule set in a subsequent legislative amendment in 1995.

Australia’s HCFC Phase out Schedule
Year Import of HCFC (ODP tonnes)
2010, 2011 70
2012, 2013 40
2014, 2015 10
2016 to 2029 2.5

 

R22

HCFC-22 (also known as R22) has been commonly used in residential heat pump, air conditioning and refrigeration systems since the 1990s following the phase out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in developed countries in 1995.

Uses for R22 include:

Residential Uses Commercial and Industrial uses
  • Window air-conditioning units
  • Packaged air conditioners and heat pumps
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Chillers
  • Central air conditioners
  • Retail food refrigeration
  • Air-to-air heat pumps
  • Cold storage warehouses
  • Ground-source heat pumps
  • Industrial process refrigeration
  • Ductless air conditioners
  • Transport refrigeration
  • Chest or upright freezers

In 2012, R22 accounted for approximately 26 per cent of the total bank of working gases in Australia, third to the commonly used synthetic greenhouse gasses R-410a and R-134a.

As releases of R22, including from leaks, contributes to ozone depletion, Australia has a legislated phase out of HCFC, in line with its obligations under the Montreal Protocol. Australia will largely phase out the import of HCFCs from 2016, apart from 2.5 ozone depletion potential tonnes a year (equating to around 45 tonnes of R22) which will be permitted until 2029 to service equipment.

The phase out of R22 will see industry look towards other options as the national bank of this refrigerant reduces. Industry is already well advanced in the transition from R22, including moving away entirely from the import and manufacture of air conditioners that operate on R22.

After 2029, the servicing of remaining R22-based systems will rely solely on recycled or reclaimed refrigerant. It is expected that reclamation and recycling will ensure that existing supplies of R22 will last longer and be available to service a greater number of systems.

Important information for users of R22

    • R22 will continue to be available in Australia, although quantities of new R22 imported into Australia are reducing (refer to the HCFC phase out schedule).
    • If your R22 system is in good working order, there is no need to transition to an alternative refrigerant/system.
    • Regular servicing to minimise leakages is important
    • Existing units using R22 can continue to be serviced with R22.
    • Some used R22 is being reclaimed to manufacturer’s specifications. Contact your refrigerant supplier for further information.
    • Conversion (commonly referred to as retrofitting) of your existing system to use a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant. Retrofits are allowed if the substitute refrigerant has been found acceptable for that type of use and it is done in accordance with relevant legislation and Australian Standards. Refer to the ‘complying with legislation and regulations’ section of this fact sheet.

Alternatives to R22

There are a range of possibilities when considering changing from R22 to an alternative refrigerant with low global warming potential alternatives becoming more available.

Equipment manufacturers, gas suppliers, refrigeration engineers, technicians and state and territory work health safety regulators can provide advice on equipment and refrigerant issues, warranties and safety requirements.

Natural refrigerant

Ammonia – Ammonia is often used in the food industry and large cool stores due to its high energy efficiency. During the last two to three decades ammonia has also been used in smaller systems including low-charge liquid chillers for air conditioning of commercial buildings.

Carbon dioxide – Carbon dioxide (CO2) is now commonly being used in what are referred to as cascade or secondary loop systems. In these systems CO2 can be used as the primary or secondary refrigerant.

Hydrocarbons – The hydrocarbons most commonly used as refrigerant are ethane (R170), propane (R290), butane (R600), isobutane (R600a) and propylene (R1270). Hydrocarbon refrigerant has been used widely in petrochemical industries, particularly very large refrigeration systems.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

HFCs are classified as synthetic greenhouse gases. These gases generally have a high global warming potential, some in the range of 140 to 3260 times that of carbon dioxide. For example, the most common refrigerant used in Australia, R134a, has a global warming potential of 1300.

HFC refrigerant commonly used as a replacement for R22 include:

  • R134a
  • R404a
  • R407a
  • R410a—This is the common replacement for split system air conditioners
  • Equipment is also being developed to operate on lower global warming potential HFC alternatives such as R32 and R-1234ze.

 

Complying with legislation and regulations

Strict regulations, standards and procedures must be followed when handling refrigerants. These vary between states and territories and the relevant authorities should always be consulted to ensure legal requirements are followed.

If you are considering substituting R22 with an alternative refrigerant, check the relevant state and or territory legislation to ensure the use of the alternative gas is permitted and it is safe to do so. This includes the manufacturers’ required standards.

Complying with standards for prescribed electrical equipment

Refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment must comply with relevant Electrical Safety Standards. Equipment intended for conversion to a substitute refrigerant must be re-certified as compliant to the relevant standard by the approval issuer. The approval issuer can be an electrical safety regulator or a third party certifier.

Licensing requirements for the handling of refrigerants

Under the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management legislation, any individual who handles a fluorocarbon refrigerant (HCFC, HFC or CFC), or works on refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment that contains a fluorocarbon refrigerant, must hold a refrigerant handling licence.

This includes decanting the refrigerant, or manufacturing, installing, commissioning, servicing or maintaining RAC equipment, irrespective of whether or not refrigerant is present. It also applies to; decommissioning or disposing of RAC equipment where refrigerant is present.

Any individual or business that acquires, stores or disposes of a fluorocarbon refrigerant must hold a current Refrigerant Trading Authorisation.

Any individual (including a repairer or dismantler) who removes fluorocarbon refrigerant such as HCFCs and HFCs from any refrigeration or air-conditioning system, including for the purposes of substitution with an alternative refrigerant, must hold at a minimum a Restricted Refrigerant Recoverer Licence.

Licences can be obtained from the Australian Refrigeration Council at www.arctick.org

There are licensing requirements for refrigerant handling in some states and territories for working with some or all refrigerants. You should check the relevant requirements in your local state or territory.

More information

For more information on the Montreal Protocol, go to www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/ozone/legislation/montp.html

Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council: www.erac.gov.au/ for more information on electrical equipment safety.

Safe Work Australia: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au to find the relevant work health and safety authority in your state or territory.

1 Cold Hard Facts 2, http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/ozone/publications/cold-hard-facts-2
2 Prescribed equipment is equipment that is required to be approved prior to being offered for sale e.g. fridges and freezers.

 

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